Nos projets

The Sunrise Valley (Saulėtekio slėnis) initiative comprises a group of projects combining physical infrastructure development with a range of business incubation, risk capital, R&D, product development and entrepreneurship education services in an attempt to transform the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, into a ‘knowledge city’. The title derives from 156 ha Saulėtekio (Sunrise) Campus, which hosts two major universities, other research organisations, a science and technology park and high-tech businesses. The initiative, which originated back in 2001, has received a major boost from the EU Structural Funds in 2007-2013. It aims to deploy and focus Lithuania’s physics, technology and civil engineering research resources more rationally. By creating conditions for their further development, it aims to establish a world-class centre of science, studies and knowledge-intensive businesses.

Executive summary

Sunrise Valley (Saulėtekio slėnis) is an initiative which comprises a group of projects combining physical infrastructure development with a range of business incubation, risk capital, R&D, product development and entrepreneurship education services in an attempt to transform the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, into a ‘knowledge city’. The goal of Sunrise Valley is to create an integrated centre – or ‘valley’ – for science, studies and business in order to develop the sectors of physics, technology and civil engineering. This would include the development of business, internationally competitive fundamental and applied research, as well as the preparation of human resources to work in these R&D areas. Sunrise Valley is being developed as part of the broader strategic plans of the City of Vilnius, and is located in the 156ha Saulėtekio (Sunrise) Campus. It hosts two of the country’s largest universities, other research organisations, a science and technology park and a growing number of high-tech businesses and start-ups.

Initial ideas to create Sunrise Valley as the central node of science, studies and knowledge-intensive business in Vilnius and Lithuania emerged in 2001, and the first projects were implemented in the 2004-2006 programming period. However the major step forward in delivering this initiative was taken with the approval in 2008 of the Programme for the Development of Sunrise Valley, which listed the main projects to be implemented between 2007 and 2013. The key developments finalised so far include the first building of the Science and Technology Park opened in 2008, the Civil Engineering Centre with eight laboratories opened in 2011, and the National Open Access Scholarly Communication and Information Centre which is to open later in 2012. Several other projects (such as the National Centre for Physical and Technology Sciences, the Joint Centre for Life Sciences and the Multifunctional Ultra-short Laser Complex Naglis) are planned to be operational by 2015. There are also plans for the next steps (such as using a public-private partnership to attract a major international operator of science and technology parks to develop and operate the second phase of the Science and Technology Park), and the overall initiative will be developed in phases over the next 10 to 20 years. The support from the ERDF in 2007-2013 played a crucial role in delivering the key infrastructure projects which are at the core of the Valley and which would not have been feasible without the EU funding.

The case study demonstrates that the implementation of such ambitious and far-reaching initiatives often progresses more slowly than initially expected, not least due to the need to ensure the continuous consensus and effective partnership among the main stakeholders, which represent the varied interests of universities, research institutes industry and the local authority. In any case it represents a major investment in the modernisation and optimisation of R&D and innovation potential in Lithuania in general, and in Vilnius in particular.

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Technical information

Name

Sunrise on technology

Member State and Region

Lithuania, Vilnius

Duration of project

48 months (2010–2014)

Funding

Total budget: 671 400 000 LTL (194 500 000€) - ERDF contribution: 261 750 000 LTL (75 800 000 €) – ESF contribution: 5 356 000 LTL (1 600 000 €)

Cohesion Policy Objective

Convergence

Managing Authority

Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania - Vilnius

CCI nr of OP

2007LT161PO002 OP 'Economic Growth'

Contact

Prof. J.R. Lazutka, Pro-Rector for Strategic Development at Vilnius University

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Web

http://www.sunrisevalley.lt (LT, EN)

Keywords

Urban renewal, infrastructures or science parks, Innovation awareness-raising, education and training

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